American Son: Film Review – Here’s The Ugly Truth About Racism

A decent one-time watch!
55%Overall Score

Verdict: This film is real, intense, and unafraid to delve deep into the chaos caused by racial discrimination. 

Stream it on Netflix.

We are now in the 21st century, where we have some of the most advanced technologies. Yet, we have failed to advance in our thinking patterns. The issue of racism is still glaringly present despite several laws and reforms that have been passed over the years. The damage done by racism for decades now projects itself in different forms. Based on a broadway play, American Son does a good job of stirring up some of these deep-rooted issues.

What’s American Son About:

The film opens with Kendra Ellis-Connor (Kerry Washington) anxiously pacing the waiting room of the Miami police station on a stormy night. All she wants to know are the whereabouts of her son Jamal who has been missing. She desperately looks for some help from rookie officer Paul Larkin (Jeremy Jordan) who refuses to tell her anything. Kendra is soon joined by her estranged husband and FBI agent Scott Connor (Steven Pasquale). As Kendra and Scott painful wait for any news about their son, they are forced to confront some of their own unresolved issues.

What Works:

Kerry Washington is a force to be reckoned with in a film that is almost completely shot in one room. She takes the script and soars by delivering punchy speeches with the right amount of emotion. You can tell she is a mother in extreme agony waiting to know about her half-black, half-white son who is missing. The constant banter between Washington and Steven Pasquale’s characters is what carries the film through and makes it engaging. They hash out their differences in opinion, which covers a number of issues related to racism.

What Could’ve Been Better:

Since the movie is shot entirely in one room, there are several instances that feel a little stretched and repetitive. While the film deals with a sensitive and complicated topic, it merely scratches the surface in terms of making an impact.

Why You Should Watch:

American Son is a film that bursts the bubble of oblivion and indifference to try and highlight the very pertinent issues of race and gender discrimination. It is available on Netflix, if you desire a watch.

Alisha Fernandes: